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During a routine dive, a 39-year-old diver with nearly twenty years of diving experience came very close to dying after the air system failed to function properly. A lawsuit was filed on the diver’s behalf under the Jones Act for negligence on the part of the diver’s employer. The lawsuit was settled in the defendant’s favor for just over one million dollars.
During a routine dive, a 39-year-old diver with nearly twenty years of diving experience came very close to dying after the air system failed to function properly. The experienced diver suffered physical injuries as well as emotional stress due to an equipment malfunction. South of Chauvin, Louisiana, the 39-year-old diver was approximately fifteen feet under water when the air supply system on the surface of the water malfunctioned.
The diver came very close to drowning as a result but was revived using CPR and rushed to a hospital in the New Orleans vicinity. Although he has largely recovered, lingering neurological problems and post traumatic stress disorder will keep him from returning to his work as a commercial diver.
The diver filed a lawsuit against the ship’s owner, claiming that the owner’s negligence in maintaining the air supply system renders the boat unseaworthy. General maritime law in the United States holds employers and ship owners responsible for maintaining a seaworthy vessel. Additionally, he filed a lawsuit against his employer under the Jones Act for improperly maintaining the air system.
The employer and the boat’s owner refuted the suit, saying that the experienced diver should have been prepared with his back up air supply, referred to as a “bail-out-bottle” by diving aficionados. However, the suit was settled in the favor of the diver.
This lawsuit is one of many dive settlements that are part of the complex body of maritime law. This can be a tricky area for many to navigate, but the law firm Delise & Hall has built a practice based on years of experience and knowledge in this practice. For more information about maritime law in general, the Jones Law, or settlements in dive lawsuits and other maritime suits, you can access the firm's website at www.divelawyers.com or call them at 1-800-DIVER 55 (1-800-348-3755).
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